As the Washburn fire burns, crews clear the fire camp of trash

Recycling stations installed at fire camps help to significantly reduce waste generated by firefighters/US Forest Service

At the end of their very long days on the fire lines battling the Washburn Wildfire in Yosemite National Park, the firefighters retire to the fire camp where they can eat, sometimes shower, and rest the next day. Naturally, with nearly 1,500 firefighters at work, these camps can generate a lot of waste. And that’s where a recycling program launched by the US Forest Service in 2020 is having a big impact.

“In just three days after the Washburn fire, 3,489 individual water bottles, 2,650 lbs of cardboard, 600 lbs of food were donated and 415 lbs of cooking oil were (sic) donated to the community or recycled through this program,” the Forest Service said. Remarks.

According to the agency, their Project Green recycling programs can reduce the amount of real waste that needs to be transported to landfills. “Efficient recycling services reduce the need for dumpsters and maintenance by 50 to 80 percent, further reducing incident costs,” reports the Forest Service, which notes that “reducing daily service by four dumpsters in a single incident could save up to $18,000 per week.”

The agency also notes that in 2020, “on-site recycling reduced landfill waste by 30-40%. That equates to thousands of pounds of recycling.”